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Commissioners pass motion to close a portion of Coggins Road

The county commissioners, after conducting a public hearing, passed a motion to approve the resolution in support of closing and abandoning a part of Coggins Road in New London during their meeting March 4.

A request was made during last month’s county commissioners meeting by Jimmy Faust of Culp Lumber Company and attorney Will Taylor to close the road.

“When the bypass of U.S. 52 was built around New London, our owner, Hank Culp, decided that we should not route our trucks through town and by the school (now Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy),” said Faust at February’s meeting. “So he requested trucks coming from the south go past New London on U.S. 52, and turn back down Old 52 to reach us. That added about a mile and a half to the routes of trucks coming from the south.”

But not all trucking companies were willing to go the extra mile and a half, Faust said, so by closing Coggins Road, “we can put in a direct entrance that will bring trucks straight into our facility from 52.”

Faust wants to close about 2,500 feet of Coggins Road, “to allow for growth for the company,” he said during last week’s meeting.

Taylor added it is also about “the safety of the general public to route the traffic of log trucks to a new entry point on Highway 52 as opposed to using old Highway 52 through the middle of the town of New London.”

David Palmer and his wife own the Fast Stop store and Bait on 8 in New London. He witnesses the log trucks constantly coming down the road. He supports the motion to close a part of Coggins Road.

Though Culp routes trucks around the town on Old 52, companies Culp subcontracts often drive through Main Street and it’s hard for the log trucks to go 25 miles per hour and stop at the red light, Palmer said.

“It’s a thing of safety for us to limit those trucks,” Palmer said. Currently there are around 100 trucks a day and probably 30 of the trucks come down Main Street, he said.

The infrastructure of the roads would also be better if the log trucks avoided Main Street, Palmer added.

New London Mayor Tate Daniels came to the meeting to speak not as an elected official, but as a citizen of the town. He voiced his support for closing the road.

He sees the trucks coming through his town every day.

“We would love to see all this traffic out of town.”

After the public hearing, Commissioner Zach Almond made the motion to approve the resolution to close a portion of Coggins Road.

The commissioners unanimously approved the motion.

The next step will be for the commissioners to make a recommendation to the Department of Transportation Board and then the DOT would issue a notice of abandonment of road maintenance, after which the commissioners can issue an order that the road be closed.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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